Two weeks ago, the silly blog post you put together in 10 minutes went viral. But then, the one that took you hours to craft has failed to get notable traction. A head-scratcher, I know!
The truth of the matter is that online readers are picky. And honestly, there is no reason to blame them. There is too much low-quality content drowning the posts that are worthy of attention…
So, how do you emulate your recent success? First, you must understand what made your readers tick. You can then use this info to create quality posts and turn your blog into their go-to resource.
This requires an open mind and the ability to often read between the lines. The reason is that people aren’t always able to say exactly what they need or want until you show it to them. Trust me on that one.
Why Feedback Matters
I love asking people for feedback on everything I do. And it’s not just because English is not my mother tongue.
Constructive feedback opens the door to new ideas, encourages you to look at your content from different angles, and helps you craft posts that speak your readers’ language.
When you request feedback from your readers, three things happen:
1. You show you are interested in them.
2. You give them the ability to contribute to the success of your blog.
3. You build trust by positioning yourself as a transparent blogger.
Where You Should You Ask for Feedback
Here is a list of interesting platforms you should check out:
● reddit - A few days ago, I chanced upon a great article written by Kathleen Burns, which contains a list of recommended subreddits. The ones about content marketing are really worth a visit, especially the Blogging subreddit. Members of that community help one another with promotion, feedback, and advice. So far, I am quite impressed with the interactions I have seen. People are very encouraging.
● Quora - Yes, I know. This is a Q&A platform. But if you spend some time looking around, you may start noticing some members' requests for feedback on website design and blog posts. The comment sections are always full of great insights.
● Blogger mastermind groups - These are the perfect places to brainstorm ideas with like-minded bloggers and receive constructive feedback and support. There are many online, especially if you are on Facebook or LinkedIn. And for those wanting to get off their computers and receive critiques IRL (a.k.a. "In Real Life"), check out Meetup.
● The comment section of your blog - Since Copyblogger decided to disable comments, an incredible number of blogs have followed suit. It’s sad, honestly. There is so much info to gather from readers, some of whom may not be interested in taking the conversation to social networks. The best blogs usually have comment sections that are feedback goldmines. You can learn more from reading them than the posts themselves!
● Your newsletter - Newsletters offer a more personal space to communicate with people. That’s actually the perfect opportunity to ask for occasional feedback. Subscribers love being able to share their two cents.
Conclusion: Reader Feedback Is Useful for Everything
Paying attention to constructive feedback will not just help you create blog posts that your readers crave and maximize the shareable factor. The benefits will also expand to your overall online presence and business.
From your social media posts to your web copy, you will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your strategy, tweak and/or improve it, and ultimately increase leads.
About the author:
Cendrine Marrouat is a social media blogger & coach, content curator, author, and photographer living in Canada. She is the founder of Social Media Slant (http://socialmediaslant.com), a blog helping small business owners and solo-entrepreneurs to figure out the basics of social media. Cendrine has authored two books, one of which received a 2015 Small Business Book Award in the Social Media Category.